The Washington State Department of Commerce (formerly the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development or CTED) has announced that it is attempting to revise Washington’s comprehensive energy plan (the “State Energy Strategy”).
The State Energy Strategy was last revised in 2003, and it does not serve current energy realities and forecasts. Therefore, the Washington State Legislature has tasked the Department of Commerce with updating the State Energy Strategy while taking account the following three goals and nine principles:
1) Maintain competitive energy prices;
2) Foster a clean energy economy and jobs; and
3) Meet obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
1) Pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation as the state's preferred energy resource, consistent with state law;
2) Ensure that the state's energy system meets the health, welfare, and economic needs of its citizens with particular emphasis on meeting the needs of low-income and vulnerable populations;
3) Maintain and enhance economic competitiveness by ensuring an affordable and reliable supply of energy resources and by supporting clean energy technology innovation, access to clean energy markets worldwide, and clean energy business and workforce development;
4) Reduce dependence on fossil fuel energy sources through improved efficiency and development of cleaner energy sources, such as bioenergy, low-carbon energy sources, and natural gas, and leveraging the indigenous resources of the state for the production of clean energy;
5) Improve efficiency of transportation energy use through advances in vehicle technology, increased system efficiencies, development of electricity, biofuels, and other clean fuels, and regional transportation planning to improve transportation choices;
6) Meet the state's statutory greenhouse gas limits and environmental requirements as the state develops and uses energy resources;
7) Build on the advantage provided by the state's clean regional electrical grid by expanding and integrating additional carbon-free and carbon-neutral generation, and improving the transmission capacity serving the state;
8) Make state government a model for energy efficiency, use of clean and renewable energy, and greenhouse gas-neutral operations; and
9) Maintain and enhance our state's existing energy infrastructure.
The Department of Commerce is opening a collaborative process to update and revise the State Energy Strategy and has invited stakeholders to participate. In order to assist collaboration, the Department of Commerce has created a website hosting information about past energy strategies, guiding legislation, advisory and technical committee activities, and a schedule of events. Moreover, the public can sign up for list serve to receive updates and provide feedback.
U.S. DOE Releases Funding Opportunity Announcement for Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Development
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (the "DOE") released the long-awaited Financial Assistance Funding Opportunity Announcement ("FOA") titled "Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Readiness Advancement Initiative." Federal funding for this initiative for fiscal year 2010 is expected to be up to $15.36 million, with the possibility of continued funding at, or near, that level for up to an additional two years. (Because all federal funding is subject to annual appropriations, these figures should be treated as estimates.)
The DOE has recognized that marine hydrokinetic ("MHK") technologies can provide renewable, environmentally responsible, and predictable baseload electricity to load centers along the nation's coastlines. And to help accelerate the development and deployment of these technologies, the DOE intends to advance the technological and operational readiness of MHK systems and components across a range of technology readiness levels ("TRLs") through this Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Although TRLs have been used for years by both NASA and the Department of Defense to develop advanced, mission-critical systems, this is the first time TRLs have been used by the DOE to assess the technological readiness of new renewable energy technologies. Recognizing that MHK devices and components are still largely in the early stages of research and development, the DOE has adopted a simplified TRL structure for purposes of this Funding Opportunity Announcement. The DOE is seeking applications in two topic areas: (1) MHK Technologies Concept Development (TRLs 1-3) and (2) MHK Technology Readiness Level Advancement (TRLs 4-9).
Funding will be made available in each topic area for both "systems" and "components." The DOE organized and grouped the TRLs into four discrete funding categories:
- Discovery / Concept Definition / Early Stage Development, Design and Engineering (TRL 1-3);
- Proof of Concept (TRL 4);
- System Integration and Technology Laboratory Demonstration (TRL 5/6); and
- Open Water System Testing, Demonstration, and Operation (TRL 7/8).
Each category has prescribed funding levels and project performance periods. A brief summary of the expected number of awards in each topic area and the associated expected federal funding is included below. For a complete funding breakdown for systems and components, see the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
|Topic Area||Period of Performance||Expected Number of Awards||Total Estimated Federal Funding||Estimated FY 2010 Federal Funding|
MHK Technologies Concept Development
(4 systems, 4 components)
MHK Technology Readiness Level Advancement
(11 systems, 7 components)
Applications are due to DOE by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on June 7, 2010.
On March 11, 2010, I posted a blog about the U.S. Department of Energy's (the "DOE") upcoming Funding Opportunity Announcement ("FOA") for hydrokinetic technology development. The DOE issued a Notice of Intent announcing the FOA earlier that week. To access the Notice of Intent, click here, and enter "hydrokinetic" in the search field.
The DOE was expected to issue the FOA by March 31, 2010. This blog is intended as a reminder that all interested parties should make sure they have followed the necessary steps to apply or submit questions regarding the FOA. For official procedures, see the Notice of Intent.
To respond to FOAs, either as an applicant to to submit questions, parties must first be registered with FedConnect. In order to register for FedConnect, a party must:
- Have a Duns and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (a "DUNS Number"). If you do not know your company's DUNS Number or if your company does not have one, you can search for it or request one here; and
- Be registered with the Central Contractor Registry (the "CCR"). If you are not currently registered for the CCR, you can register at the CCR website.
If you are the first person to register in your company for FedConnect, you will need your company's CCR MPIN. If your company is already registered with the CCR, then you can find out who has your CCR MPIN by going to the CCR website and clicking "Search CCR." A company's CCR must be updated annually. To update your company's CCR, visit the CCR renewal website.
NOTE: CCR and FedConnect registration can take at least 21 days to complete. Since the DOE is expecting a quick turnaround on the FOA once it is released, interested parties should begin the registration process as soon as possible.
Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, and Army Corps of Engineers Sign Memorandum of Understanding for Hydropower
On March 24, 2010, three federal agencies announced a Memorandum of Understanding for Hydropower (the “MOU”) that impacts developers of traditional hydropower, hydrokinetic, pumped storage, and small-scale hydropower facilities. The Department of Energy (“DOE”), the Department of the Interior (“DOI”), and the Department of the Army, through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) (collectively, the “Agencies”), signed the MOU to "meet the Nation’s needs for reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable hydropower by building a long-term working relationship, prioritizing similar goals, and aligning ongoing and future renewable energy development efforts" between the agencies. The MOU comes at a time when industry representatives and eleven U.S. Senators are requesting that DOE support a $200 million appropriations request for the advancement of both conventional and advanced waterpower technologies.
In this “new approach to hydropower,” the Agencies intend to focus their collective efforts on advancing sustainable, low-impact, and small hydropower projects and promoting the goal of energy efficiency through water conservation or improved water management. Operating under the MOU, the Agencies will work together to advance four primary objectives:
- Support the maintenance and sustainable optimization of existing Federal and non-Federal hydropower projects;
- Elevate the goal of increased hydropower generation as a priority of each Agency to the extent permitted by their respective statutory authorities;
- Promote energy efficiency; and
- Ensure that new hydropower generation is implemented in a sustainable manner.
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On Friday August 28, Eric Lindeman of The Energy Daily will be moderating a webinar about "Advanced Biofuels: What Are the Commercial Possibilities? Why All the Interest in Algae?" My partner, the always-entertaining John Eustermann, will be speaking at the Webinar along with Connie Lausten (VP, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, New Generation Biofuels (NGBF)) and Glenn Johnston (VP, Regulatory Affairs, GEVO, Inc.). You can sign up for the Webinar at http://www.theenergydaily.com/events/bio_fuels_webinar/
Stoel Rives recently published its new "Law of Algae", a guide to the business and legal issues affecting the development of a commercial scale algae biofuels facility. We've introduced The Law of Algae in an on-line “wiki” format because the processes, technologies, and issues are changing rapidly with the commercialization of algae. The wiki format enables us to update the book frequently to bring you the most current information, so feel free to stop by often!
Congressional leaders have just announced that they have reached an agreement on the details of a stimulus package. The details have yet to be announced, other than the total cost of the bill is estimated to be $789 billion. That amount is less than either the House or Senate bill.
We will post details as they become available and will be sending out an alert. Congressional leaders are currently meeting with their respective caucuses to obtain their approval. The Conference Committee is expected to meet in formal session immediately after.